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Celebrating agriculture

Slideshow: Ag leaders gather to tout opportunities in Minnesota agriculture.

Kevin Schulz, Editor

July 28, 2023

9 Slides

Telling the story of agriculture is vital to every farmer, agribusinessman and entrepreneur, and more than 200 gathered at ISG Field in Mankato, Minn., for the fourth annual Celebration of Agriculture.

With the backdrop of the Mankato MoonDogs taking on the Bismarck Larks in Northwoods League action, agriculture leaders gathered to address the challenges facing agriculture today — but also the opportunities.

“There’s less than 2% of us left as part of the population” involved in agriculture, says Gary Koch, Christsensen Farms vice president and general counsel. “And people simply and plainly don’t know what the opportunities in agriculture are.”

He adds, “We have been our own worst enemies up until now of letting people know, especially the young people — that opportunities are here, that they can make a good living here and have a good family life.”

Uncertainty has always plagued American agriculture, and the current times are no different. But Koch sets the scene with the Winston Churchill quote: “The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.”

About the Author(s)

Kevin Schulz

Editor, The Farmer

Kevin Schulz joined The Farmer as editor in January of 2023, after spending two years as senior staff writer for Dakota Farmer and Nebraska Farmer magazines. Prior to joining these two magazines, he spent six years in a similar capacity with National Hog Farmer. Prior to joining National Hog Farmer, Schulz spent a long career as the editor of The Land magazine, an agricultural-rural life publication based in Mankato, Minn.

During his tenure at The Land, the publication grew from covering 55 Minnesota counties to encompassing the entire state, as well as 30 counties in northern Iowa. Covering all facets of Minnesota and Iowa agriculture, Schulz was able to stay close to his roots as a southern Minnesota farm boy raised on a corn, soybean and hog finishing farm.

One particular area where he stayed close to his roots is working with the FFA organization.

Covering the FFA programs stayed near and dear to his heart, and he has been recognized for such coverage over the years. He has received the Minnesota FFA Communicator of the Year award, was honored with the Minnesota Honorary FFA Degree in 2014 and inducted into the Minnesota FFA Hall of Fame in 2018.

Schulz attended South Dakota State University, majoring in agricultural journalism. He was also a member of Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity and now belongs to its alumni organization.

His family continues to live on a southern Minnesota farm near where he grew up. He and his wife, Carol, have raised two daughters: Kristi, a 2014 University of Minnesota graduate who is married to Eric Van Otterloo and teaches at Mankato (Minn.) East High School, and Haley, a 2018 graduate of University of Wisconsin-River Falls. She is married to John Peake and teaches in Hayward, Wis. 

When not covering the agriculture industry on behalf of The Farmer's readers, Schulz enjoys spending time traveling with family, making it a quest to reach all 50 states — 47 so far — and three countries. He also enjoys reading, music, photography, playing basketball, and enjoying nature and campfires with friends and family.

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